An application by Gypsies and Travellers for the further occupation of Green Belt land in Alvanley has been opposed by residents.
Several families who have lived in Green Meadows Chalet Park on Towers Lane since 2007 have applied to Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) for permanent occupation of the site, which comprises four pitches each containing a maximum of two caravans but no more than four of which are static caravans or mobile homes.
But residents of Alvanley and nearby Helsby have shared their protests on the online application on CWaC’s website.
A comment by Helen Tattersall, from Helsby, reads: “As a resident in Helsby I've seen a lot of Travellers sites come and am worried that this will affect the area, house prices and local residents.”
Fellow Helsby resident Karen Horsley is concerned that approval of the application may set a precedent.
“I object to the proposal to create a permanent Traveller site on Towers Lane because the land is designated Green Belt land and allowing a permanent site would be contrary to Green Belt policy,” she wrote.
“Approving this application would set a precedent and open the surrounding areas to be subject to similar planning applications.
“It is not in the community’s interests to allow the erosion of the countryside surrounding our village and I object to the impact this site could have on the environment and wildlife.”
Temporary permission of six months was granted in August in light of CWaC’s actions in bringing forward sites to meet the need for accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers, but expired in February.
In the design and access statement submitted by the applicants’ planning agent Angus Murdoch, the application is described as ‘modest’.
Mr Murdoch writes that while it is accepted that use of the site represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt, ‘very special circumstances’ outweigh the harm.
Among the circumstances cited are the need for further sites nationally, regionally, locally and personally for the families who occupy the site; the unavailability of suitable alternative sites; the best interests of the children; the consequences of the application being dismissed for the families; and a human rights consideration.
The determination deadline for the application is Wednesday, May 7.